Black truffle freaks will know this, of course, but here’s a word of warning to the uninitiated: the season is ending soon. Some restaurants in town still have them available – XO, Le St Urbain and Venti, for example – but only for a few more days… (more…)
MONTREAL – For a good while now, we’ve ended each year in this space with “best of” lists. At a time when restaurants are too busy to be reviewed (or often closed), I have preferred to wrap things up by underlining the efforts of the sharpest chefs and their most brilliant dishes.
Yet, I always felt we were leaving out some of the people whose foodie efforts extend beyond those lists. Thus, the tastemakers column was created.
Think of all the people who work tirelessly at getting those ingredients to your plate or in your glass, the people who are growing or raising those ingredients. Then there are the folks who work hard to make home cooks think beyond the usual Hamburger Helper. And let’s not forget the chefs who are taking risks on the Montreal scene to make it a more interesting place to eat.
Qu’est-ce qu’une truffe? Un champignon au chocolat? Ça s’achète où, ça goûte quoi, ça se mange comment? Pour en savoir plus sur ce produit de très grand luxe qui fascine gourmets et gourmands depuis toujours, nous avons posé quelques questions à l’un des principaux importateurs de truffes à Montréal, Paolo Macchi. Voici ce qu’il nous a expliqué.
Qu’est-ce qu’une truffe?
La truffe est un champignon très rare. (Il existe aussi des chocolats appelés truffes, nommés ainsi car ils ressemblent aux champignons.) Les truffes poussent à plusieurs endroits, notamment en France, en Italie, aux États-Unis, en Chine, en Croatie et même en Suède. Mais ces truffes que l’on trouve un peu partout ne sont pas toutes aussi parfumées et savoureuses. Les plus reconnues sont les françaises et les italiennes.
Creamy, luscious, pricey and hard to come byWhen it comes to rare gourmet nibblies in Montreal, Paolo Macchi is the man you want to know. Be it prosciutto di parma, truffled baby peaches, bottarga or autumn’s decadent white truffles, Italian luxury foodstuffs are the name of Macchi’s game. So when this importer/distributor posted that he had received burrata on his Facebook page, I emailed him begging for a tasting.
What’s burrata? Imagine a one-pound ball of fresh mozzarella filled with cream and a mix of stringy mozzarella curds. The outer shell should be thin, about three millimetres, and the whole ball is the size of a large pouch. It doesn’t come cheap (expect to pay about $30 per pound, which serves between four and six) but for aficionados, burrata is, as Los Angeles Times food writer Russ Parsons, says: “to mozzarella as foie gras is to chicken liver.”
By Lesley Chesterman, Gazette Fine-Dining Critic
MONTREAL – It all started innocently enough, with two friends on Facebook exchanging opinions about strawberry rhubarb pie. “Grandma Zoe’s famous strawberry rhubarb pie is on the way …” wrote Joanna Notkin. “I’d actually dare to challenge you on that one,” replied her friend Hivron Turanli, obviously feeling a bit competitive about who could master the rhubarb-strawberry combination dessert. (more…)
written by Guest Blogger
I’m happy that Hivron Turanli, a foodie and the Marketing Director at Macchi Inc. has accepted to be a guest blogger on At Home with Kim Vallee. Hivron agreed to talk to us about a special ingredient that she adores. She shared with us practical tips on how to use truffles in your kitchen. Hivron is also known as Mrs. Macchi on Twitter.
People associate truffles with refined and expensive food. Many may feel that it is too expensive to use at home. I will show you that there are many ways and price levels at which you cook with truffles.